News

Media and Political Bulletin – 03 July 2020

Media and Political Bulletin

03 July 2020

Media Summary

Landmark £13.25m funding package for community pharmacy in Northern Ireland

Pharmacy Business, Pri Mandav, 02 July 2020

Pharmacy Business reports that Northern Ireland’s health minister has announced a landmark £13.25 million funding package for community pharmacy.

The latest funding is being made in addition to a confirmed recurrent financial envelope of £112.4m for 2020/21. This adds to a previous investment of £7.5m for the period April to June 2020 towards meeting the cost of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Gerrard Greene, Chief Executive of Community Pharmacy Northern Ireland, said: “The investment of significant funding will provide a platform now for the service to build on the immensely important services that people could see being provided during the Covid response and it will enable community pharmacy to play a transformative role going forward in the post Covid-era.”

Parliamentary Coverage

Medicines and Medical Devices Bill: Briefing for Lords Stages, 02 July 2020

The Medicines and Medical Devices Bill would provide the Government with new delegated powers to update or amend the UK’s regulatory framework for medical devices and for human and veterinary medicines, with much of the current UK regulatory framework based on EU regulations and directives.

It would also allow a new information system to be introduced covering data on medical devices and would consolidate and expand enforcement provisions.

No opposition amendments were made to the bill during its House of Commons stages. However, MPs agreed some government amendments at committee stage, and a new clause proposed by the Government was added at report stage. The House of Commons agreed each of these without a vote. The second reading in the House of Lords is yet to be scheduled.

Access the Briefing for Lords Stages here.

Full Coverage

Landmark £13.25m funding package for community pharmacy in Northern Ireland

Pharmacy Business, Pri Mandav, 02 July 2020

Northern Ireland’s health minister has announced a landmark £13.25 million funding package for community pharmacy.

“What we saw through the Covid-19 pandemic was community pharmacy really stepping up and supporting us also across the health and social care system,” Robin Swann said yesterday (July 1).

He added that the funding boost would provide “a firm foundation that will enable community pharmacy to play a full part in the future of our health and social care system.”

The latest funding is being made in addition to a confirmed recurrent financial envelope of £112.4m for 2020/21. This adds to a previous investment of £7.5m for the period April to June 2020 towards meeting the cost of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Reacting to the minister’s announcement, Gerrard Greene, Chief Executive of Community Pharmacy Northern Ireland, said: “We in Community Pharmacy NI and the complete community pharmacy network welcome the minister’s announcement this morning.

“The investment of significant funding will provide a platform now for the service to build on the immensely important services that people could see being provided during the Covid response and it will enable community pharmacy to play a transformative role going forward in the post Covid-era.

“These have been extremely challenging times for all of us in Northern Ireland, none more so than the community pharmacy network.”

Greene also praised community pharmacy teams for “the sterling and extremely professional and dedicated work that they have put in” over the period of the coronavirus pandemic.

The funding will ensure that, in addition to the core dispensing service, community pharmacies will provide extra services from July 2020 to meet the needs of patients during the pandemic period, which will include:

  • An emergency supply service, started in phase one of the pandemic, will continue.
  • Services for smoking cessation and opiate substitution therapy, suspended during the initial phases of the emergency response, will re-commence.
  • An enhanced on-call palliative care service will be provided and a new service developed for care homes.
  • A ‘Pharmacy first’ service will provide a consultation with a pharmacist for access to advice and treatment for common conditions, avoiding the need for the public to attend GP/OOH/ED services.
  • Pharmacies will provide targeted advice and signposting for mental and physical health promotion. A medicines delivery services will be developed for vulnerable groups.

Calling it ‘a very positive step forward,’ Chief Pharmaceutical Officer for Northern Ireland, Cathy Harrison, said: “Every day our community pharmacy staff work with the utmost professionalism on the frontline of the HSC, providing accessible services for the public. This agreement shows that we are backing our community pharmacy teams as we continue to work through the uncertainty of the coming months and towards a more positive future.”

“I feel that Community pharmacists are now being treated with the same respect and valued in the same way as Hospital & Practice Based Pharmacists,” Eoghan O’Brien told Pharmacy Business on Thursday, July 2.

He said the collaboration between the Dept of Health, the Health and Social Care Board, Community Pharmacy NI and health minister Robin Swann was very encouraging as it “gives community pharmacists the confidence and resources they need to bring further improvements in physical and mental health and wellbeing to the public we are so proud to serve.”

“It is really good for the entire profession, and I feel we can really progress from here,” O’Brien added.

Media and Political Bulletin – 03 July 2020

From Factory to Pharmacy

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